I paused to catch my breath, staggering on my weak legs.
"How much further -" I looked around.
Don't tell me I'd been running this far alone!
"Damn. Damn damn. TRIPLE DAMN!" I shrieked, kicking a little mound of sand
I was out in the middle of nowhere while they battled a sand monster.
"Just my luck," I muttered.
I always managed to miss the exciting stuff.
I folded my arms angrily and set off back the way I'd come, following my footprints. The sun beat down on my back, little streams of sweat running down either side of my nose.
Fifteen minutes later....
"What the hell?!" I turned around on the spot. My trail of footprints where I had started running had stopped.
I could tell the others had been there, footprints crisscrossed all over kingdom come.
But where in god's name had they gone?
"IS THIS SOME KIND OF JOKE?!" I hollered into the vast nothingness.
A hand grabbed my ankle. I screamed bloody murder, kicking at it.
"Ow! Hey, who's up there?"
Oh thank God.
"Doctor? What the hell are you doing down there?" I bent down.
"BELLONA!" Serenata this time, "Run! JUST RUN!"
"What are you talking about?" I twirled about a couple more times, searching for the source of her voice.
The ground began to shake - but it wasn't the sand monster this time. It was followed by the sound of massive interstellar engines powering down. They had been so loud that you couldn't hear them until they had landed. But somehow those bloody Time People had. I should have run when I had the chance....
"I'm not leaving you!" I grabbed the Doctor's hand, pulling with all my strength. His long, thin fingers tried to worm their way out of my grasp but to no avail. I was just too damn determined.
His head broke the surface of the sand. He spat out sand before glaring at me angrily, uttering a single word, "RUN!"
I took a glance over my shoulder - two soldiers with very BIG guns were making their way down the dune.
"Oh shit," I gasped, "Oh shit shit SHIT!" What was it with me and repeating curse words in threes today?
"Bellona, listen to me, take this," The Doctor pulled a gold key out of his pocket, "Go to the TARDIS, lock yourself inside. If something happens to us, you'll know,"
"No way 'bowtie'," I reached down and tugged on it with my free hand, "I don't think so!" I let go of his hand - he was well capable of hauling himself out.
"Where are you?" I called, searching the ground for Serenata's hand.
Tentative fingers with red painted nails peeked up out of the ground,
"Here," A hoarse voice called.
It was Serenata's mother.
I reached down and pulled.
God, she weighed more than the Doctor!
I glanced over at him. Well, if he stood sideways and stuck out his tongue he would resemble a zipper.
"Get over here and help me!" I shouted in his general direction.
He looked up from brushing off his trousers and ran over.
"River! Reach out with your other hand!"
Her left hand plunged out of the sand, grabbing for his like she was drowning.
I shook my head.
I screamed as the muscles in my arms felt like they were being torn to shreds. I could only imagine how River felt.
Finally that curly hair of hers appeared followed by the rest of her.
"Where's Sere?" River whipped her head around wildly. (She pronounced it 'Sara')
"Working on it!" I looked behind us to see that she had managed to get the top half of her body out on her own. Wow. She must be a lot stronger than she looks! But it was too late. The two men surrounded her, pointing their weapons at her head.
"NO!" River and the Doctor cried simutaneously. River was out of the sand and the pair of them now ran towards Serenata.
"Stop right there Doctor!" One of the soldiers told him, cocking his gun.
"Colonel Runaway. We meet again." The Doctor muttered.
"Come any closer and I blow your little girl's brains out,"
Serenata closed her eyes as though she were giving up.
I stood stock still in the middle of it, half way between the soldiers and Sere and her parents.
The other soldier grabbed one of Serenata's arms, the Colonel taking the other.
Without another word, they drug her up and out of the pit.
Sere hollered and screamed, kicking their legs in a mad fury.
"YOU LET HER GO!" The Doctor roared, coming at them like a lion.
"Or what? You blink us to death with your little sonic screwdriver?" The Colonel laughed heartily.
River withdrew a laser gun from a holster at her hip that I hadn't seen before. She leveled it straight at his head.
"Or I'll shoot you,"
"River Song....Or should I say Melody Pond? Do you really have the heart -yet - to kill someone?"
The gun shook in her hand. It fell to the ground with a soft thud.
"I thought not,"He turned and together, with the other soldier, they dragged Serenata Song away.
"Whatever happens, I'll find you!" The Doctor cried. No really, he was crying. This man that had scared the living daylights out of ruthless pirates had fallen to his knees, sobbing into his open palms.
River ran to him, wrapping her arms around him, whispering something to him.
I could only stand there in shock, watching the soldiers take Serenata away, pulling her over the dune and out of site.
She hadn't even struggled. All she did was close her eyes and hang her head.
"So what happens now?" I asked, breaking the silence.
"We follow them," River murmured, still holding the Doctor.
Poor man. His soul had been broken.